April 14, 2015

     Over the past few weeks, the team has mainly worked on the technical aspects of the project, focusing on the GPS shield, the SD card reader, the IR camera, and the signal detection system. The team proceeded to work on the wristband radio beacon and found a way to incorporate it into a watch-type wristband.

     The team focused on how the quadcopter would move towards the distress signal once the signal has been detected while in flight. To do this, the team tried using triangulation to calculate the angles at which the quadcopter would move in order to hover towards the location from where the distress signal was emitted.

This is how triangulation would work: 
When the drone receives a signal, it stops; then, it begins to rotate 36 degrees at a time, measuring the signal strength for each rotation. It then finds the highest signal strength and moves 40 feet at a right angle to the direction of the strength, and repeats the rotation.
Once it has again found the directional angle of the highest signal strength, we find the actual position of the person using standard trigonometry.
We determine the highest signal strength by fitting the strengths for a full revolution to a sinusoidal curve and then finding the maximum.
The team drew out this plan, but the implementation was out of our reach, so we turned our focus to other aspects of the project.

     In regards to the GPS shield, the team originally had planned to have the SD card reader as a separate component on the quadcopter, but after some research, found a more compact way of transferring the GPS coordinates to the SD card. The team purchased the GPS shield, which included the GPS unit as well as the SD card on the same board. This way, the GPS coordinates could be recorded by the quadcopter and sent to the SD card much faster. Recently, the team was able to take GPS coordinates of a specific location and have that info subsequently sent to the SD card.

     Along with the GPS coordinates, the photographs from the IR camera will be stored in the SD card as well, so recently the team was able to have the pictures be taken from the camera and stored in the SD card in JPEG form. Overall, for the technical aspects on the quadcopter, the team has been able to get the pictures and GPS coordinates both stored onto the SD card successfully.

     After a few days of research, the team found a way to have the radio beacon function in a wristband form through the use of a flexible watch structure. The main data display portion of the watch is replaced by the radio beacon. This way, the wristband part of the beacon is comfortable and securely holds the radio beacon. Regarding the beacon specifically, the team is currently working on compacting the transmitter so it can fit in the space of the watch. The picture above is similar to how this radio beacon will appear after its completion. 

     In the next few weeks, the team aims to finalize all parts of the project and ensure proper functioning and cohesiveness.